AEthyia ferina (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 203 (1766) ; (Naum.), xiii. p. 21, Taf. 308 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 433, pl. cxvii. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 367 ; (id.), B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 20 ; (Dresser), vi. p. 551, pl. 434 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 506 ; (Salvadori), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 335 ; (Tacz.), F, O. Sib. O. p. 1162 ; (Blanf.), F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 458 ; (Saunders), p. 443 ; (Lilford), vii. p. 107, pl. 44 ; (Seebohm), B. Jap. E. p. 254.
Milouin, French ; Tarrantana, Portug. ; Cabezon, Span. ; Moriglione, Ital. ; Tafelente, German ; Tafeleend, Dutch ; Taffeland, Dan. and Norweg. ; Brunand, Swed. ; Punasotka, Finn. ; Pijegolovka, Krasnogoluvoi-Nyrok, Russ. ; Aurar-nar, Hindu ; Hoshihajiro, Jap.
Male ad. (England). Head and upper-neck coppery red ; lower neck, upper back, upper breast, rump, upper and under tail-coverts black ; upper parts otherwise white vermiculated with black ; quills brown tipped with blackish ; tail blackish brown tinged with grey ; speculum greyish ; under parts white indistinctly vermiculated with blackish ; bill black with a broad band of dull light blue ; legs plumbeous ; iris bright yellow. Culmen 2.2, wing 8.4, tail 2.8, tarsus 1.45 inch. The female has the head and neck dull reddish brown, the base of the bill, chin, and upper throat dirty white ; sides of head marked with dirty white ; back dark brown with a few greyish white feather-tips and vermiculated with blackish ; breast dark reddish brown with a few whitish margins ; abdomen white, the lower part and under tail-coverts brownish grey In the late summer the male resembles the female, but the head and neck are redder, the back more marked with white and more clearly vermiculated.
Hab. Europe generally, north to Central Sweden ; rare in Iceland ; the British Islands, South Europe, and North Africa in winter ; Canaries ; Asia east to Japan, north to Southern Siberia, south to Northern India in winter ; in America it is replaced by a very closely allied form AE. americana., Bp.
Is an expert diver and obtains its food to some extent inland, but chiefly under the surface of the water, feeding chiefly on vegetable substance, but also, it is said, on aquatic insects. As a rule it is a somewhat silent bird, and its call-note is a low rerrr-rerrr-a. Its nest is a mere hollow in the ground near water lined with grass-bents and down, and the eggs 7 to 10, sometimes 12 in number, are usually deposited early in June, are greenish grey, sometimes with a faint buff tinge, and measure about 2.38 by 1.65.
857. Aethyia ferina